11:40 GMT23 January 2021
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    After setting the hot air ballooning world record with his partner Ivan Menyailo, traveler Fyodor Konyukhov told Sputnik about his trip.

    Russian balloon master Ivan Menyailo and traveler Fyodor Konyukhov's hot air balloon flight set a world record for flight time at over 32 hours and 20 minutes.

    Konyukhov is mostly known for his skills as a boat man. At the age of 15, he crossed the Azov Sea on a rowboat from his hometown in what is now Ukraine to the other side, in modern-day Russia.

    Besides his countless maritime expeditions across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, urban legends ascribe such stories to his biography as using his boating skills to clandestinely supply rebels in South Vietnam and Sandinistas in Nicaragua. Konyukhov himself became a priest in 2010.

    "For 32 hours, we did not sleep, did not eat, did not rest, standing up the entire time. It was necessary to switch tanks, and watch after the burners. We did all that together. We even had no time to open the thermos to drink a cup of tea. Instead of drinking water, we sucked on icicles," Konyukhov told Sputnik.

    Российский путешественник Фёдор Конюхов и мастер спорта по воздухоплаванию Иван Меняйло побили мировой рекорд по продолжительности полета на воздушном шаре. Они пробыли в воздухе 32 часа 20 минут, улучшив предыдущий показатель более чем на два часа. Узнайте, как проходил полёт воздухоплавателей, из нашего видео.

    Posted by 360TV on Monday, 25 January 2016

    Menyaylo also mapped the trip. It is the semi-circle which begins south of Moscow, the top trip is from March 2015, documented here.

    "We had very little time to admire nature, because there was a lot of work. Although below us it was beautiful, our Russia, we saw a lot of moose, boar, deer and squirrels," Konyukhov told Sputnik.

    This was Konyukhov and Menyailo's second attempt to beat the record set by American Bill Bussey in 1993. From the beginning, the flight was fraught with difficulty.

    "It was crucial to take as many tanks as we did, we lifted on a limit. We even feared we would crash with such a weight. We used up half of the first tank and threw it overboard to lighten the balloon. We were also worried that we were running out of gas fast. We even began to count, so there would be enough to beat our Russian record, we also hold it at 19 hours and 20 minutes," Konyukhov said.

    "Then the cold got stronger, and we thought that we could only hold on for 25 hours. The balloon frosted up, it became heavier, we threw everything we could overboard to lighten it: felt boots, food, thermoses, anything that was spare, just to get lighter," he added.

    Footage taken outside Glebovo village approximately an hour before the flight's end.

    "But everything went well, we worked well, thanks to God and Vanya Menyailo, a good pilot, my partner," Konyukhov told Sputnik.

    Now, Konyukhov and Menyailo plan an balloon expedition around the world, on a blimp which uses both helium and hot air for lift.

    "On April 2, we take off on a 10,000  [cubic meter] balloon to fly from the North Pole to Canada, or to Alaska, to the coast. No one has ever flown on a thermal balloon from the North Pole," Konyukhov told Sputnik.

    "And in June we start from Australia to go around the world. But there's it's a combined heat balloon, there will be burners and helium. These balloons are impossible to fly here. These only used for the around-the-world voyages," he added.

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    © Sputnik / Vitaliy Belousov
    Explaining his passion for so many kinds of travel, Konyukhov said that he loves the world, and is lucky to have been born at a time when there is so much potential for new discoveries and records.

    "I'm curious, I'm inquisitive. If there are mountains, why not stand on top of the highest mountain, Mount Everest, I have done it twice. If there are polar countries, the North Pole, the South Pole, I have been there too. If there are yachts and ships, I would like to make a trip around the world. I have traveled on camels in Mongolia, I love to travel by dog ​​sled in Alaska and Greenland," Konyukhov told Sputnik.


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